Whole30: how to eat out

I did it. I managed 30 full days of eating completely compliant Whole30 foods. And went on holiday. And continued to have a social life. Hurrah!

I’m not going to pretend that eating out whilst doing Whole30 is easy. In reality, there are very few options and sometimes you feel like a bit of an idiot (like when you’re scraping mayo off a tomato slice or sending back mushrooms that have been cooked in butter despite you saying you couldn’t eat dairy). But it is possible, and enjoyable. I had a couple of really quite good dinners out during the last month. Shocking, I know.

So here are my top tips for eating out, Whole30-style…

Tip one: remember that the courgette fries at Byron come battered!
Tip one: remember that the courgette fries at Byron come battered!

Plan where you are going

If you just decide to go out for dinner, without a clue where you’re going, you’re going to be wandering around for a while. Check out restaurant menus first and check whether there’s something you’ll be able to eat (even if it’s with a few substitutions). Yes, it completely takes any spontaneity of the situation, but unfortunately, it is totally necessary.

Get used to asking for subs

I have never been good at being assertive in restaurants, but if nothing else, Whole30 makes you be. I only ate one meal out in the whole 30 days that didn’t require any amendments, so practice saying ‘no cheese’, ‘no dressing’ and ‘no bread’ like you mean it. Which brings me onto drinks…

Get used to saying ‘NOT CORDIAL’

The drinks part of Whole30 is absolutely the easiest. I mean, you can have tea AND coffee and neither are particularly improved with the presence of milk anyway. And, one of my favourite soft drinks normally is soda and fresh lime, which made it even easier. But the amount of people that think that ‘fresh lime’ means lime cordial… or lemon… or no lime… or just a completely different drink altogether is unbelievable. It’s also one of the drinks with the vastest ranging pricing I found, having been charged anything from absolutely nothing to over £2.

Learn to love steak

I’m pretty sure most people who eat meat already know that steak is bloody brilliant. I did not. But after eating it – albeit very tentatively – on my first dinner out, I now do. And that, along with a naked burger, is pretty much all you’ll be able to eat on most restaurant menus. But I had some very, very good burgers, so it really wasn’t a problem.

Go with people who are supportive

It really won’t be an enjoyable dining experience if you are having to justify and explain yourself throughout your meal. I am lucky that I dined with some very supportive and accommodating friends during my Whole30. And on several occasions I was with Charlie, who did the whole thing with me, which was absolutely invaluable. If you can drag a friend along with you on the journey – do!

Come back on Friday for my guide of where to eat (and not eat!) in London on Whole30.

Whole30: the results are in…

I said from the very beginning that doing the Whole30 was not about weight loss for me. So I am very happy that after my post-Whole30 weigh in on the super snazzy body scanning scales at my gym, I have discovered I am exactly the same weight as I was the last time I took the reading exactly six weeks ago.

There have been some changes over the last six (or I rather, I would assume, four and a bit) weeks though, which again I’m pretty happy about:

Stats from 29th May:

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Stats from 10th July:

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• My BMI is stable (18.5 vs 18.6)

• My weight is exactly the same (well 300g difference, so we’ll say exactly the same)

• My muscle mass has increased by 1kg

• My body fat mass has decreased by 1.6kg

• My body fat % has decreased by 2.8%

I would say that the first two weeks of the thirty days were pretty light on the exercise front too, because I was so GOSH DARN TIRED. I’ve only got back into the swing of 3 runs plus 2-3 cross training sessions a week in the last week or so, so I’d be really interested to see what might happen if I actually focused on exercise as well as what I’m eating and drinking.

I’m taking these stats with a relative pinch of salt as it is over such a short time period, but I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that what you fuel your body with has a massive impact on it and its performance. So here’s to continuing to fuel it in such a friendly way…